Rebuild World - Chapter 166[Updated at: 2021-09-12 23:31:53]
The battle between two large gangs—Ezont Family and Haurias—had, of course, affected the slum city. Sounds of gunshots filled the slums. Erio and the other children in the gang made use of the portable walls they got from Katsuragi to barricade themselves inside their base and were able to get through the night. But even so, it still caused a huge ruckus within the gang that Erio and Alicia were barely able to calm everyone down since they were officers in the gang, but everyone in the gang were still anxious even right now.
They were unable to contact neither Akira nor Sheryl, and that fact really caused chaos inside the gang. They went through the night reminded of just how large both Akira and Sheryl’s presence was inside the gang.
It was then that Akira and Sheryl suddenly appeared. Akira was weirded out at how big the welcoming cheer was, as the children gathered around him. Sheryl tried her best to calm everyone down to no avail.
Akira was planning to head straight back home after getting Sheryl back to her base. But Sheryl thought that it would cause even more chaos inside the gang if Akira left, so she asked him to stay for the night. She then told the supervisors to give her their reports of what had happened while she was gone.
The other children had a lot of questions they wanted to ask Sheryl, but after she reprimanded them, and looking at how Akira was slightly annoyed by the ruckus, they regained some of their composure and eventually returned to their respective jobs.
“Sheryl, couldn’t you at least contact these guys?”
“Carol-san told me not to. She said that since the request from you was to get me to safety, it was just to be safe in case someone else other than you used that call to locate me. Of course, I tried to call you too, but I wasn’t able to. “
“Sorry about that, I was a bit preoccupied during that time.”
Akira felt bad saying that he was so tired that he slept for the whole day, so he came up with another excuse. But that was no lie, he was indeed rather busy after leaving Sheryl to Carol.
“Please don’t be, I’m really happy that you came to rescue me… And also, uhhh, about Viola, thank you for making her help run the gang.”
Sheryl tried her best not to show her insecurity or displeasure on her face.
At the moment, Sheryl’s gang had not given any benefit to Akira. It did not even have the prospect of giving any profit to him. Sheryl herself understood that very well. That was why, if Akira told her that Viola would lead the gang in order to turn the gang profitable for him, then she could not refuse.
Sheryl could no longer live without Akira. So in order not to get abandoned by him, she planned to do everything she could to make the gang useful to him. She felt really insecure about the matter regarding Viola.
Akira then spoke to Sheryl with a rather serious face.
“Ahh, by the way, I’m sorry for asking you this after deciding it without even consulting with you, but, Sheryl, can you keep an eye on that Viola?”
“Keep an eye on her?”
“Yeah, tell me if she tries anything funny. I’m sure it’ll be easier to watch over her if she’s close. And also, if you don’t find her useful at all, you can go ahead and kill her. After all, that is the condition she accepted for sparing her life. If you find it hard to kill her, just tell me the reason why you need me to kill her and I’ll do it.”
“Hm? I’ll be relying on you for that one.”
Akira was a bit weirded out at how Sheryl replied with such vigour. But he did not think too much about it after that.
Sheryl was so elated that Akira actually had no plans to replace her position in the gang and she resolved herself not to disappoint him as she replied firmly to his request.
Alpha had another question that was different from Sheryl about Viola.
“Akira, are you sure that you’re okay with that matter in regards to Viola?”
“Eh? Do you think I should have killed her instead?”
Akira thought that Alpha was against it, so he was surprised when he heard that question. If Viola was telling the truth there, he would have a few billion Aurum bounty on his head. Although she might be exaggerating, it did not change the fact that a bounty would still be placed on his head. But if Viola was lying, Akira thought that Alpha should have caught that from Viola’s expression and told him about it.
“That was not what I meant, I just find it strange that you were rather lenient there. Compared to the matter with that pickpocket, you even raided into a big gang’s base just to kill her, right?”
“…Well, I did shoot her once with the intention to kill her. So, if that was not enough to keep her in check, I’ll think about something else when it comes to that.”
Akira believed that the reason why he spared Viola’s life was because he already felt better after he shot her once with the intention of killing her. Moreover, although he was manipulated by her, she did not do anything to directly kill him. But in truth, there was another reason why Akira spared her that he himself did not notice.
That reason was because Akira wanted to know if he could protect himself without increasing the body counts. He had always believed that if he spared his enemy, that person would definitely come for revenge later. Also, he was convinced that he was simply not strong enough to have the leeway to spare his opponents.
Akira wanted to find a way other than killing his opponent. Although it might be cheeky of him to have that desire, he could at least try.
Of course, it was a completely different matter whether his desire would come to fruition or not even if he tried.
Viola was lying on the hospital bed. Her wound was already treated, her life was no longer in danger. She should be fully recovered after a few days of resting on the hospital bed.
She was having a chat with Carol, who was sitting on a chair not too far from her. But Carol suddenly threw a question at her with a rather solemn expression.
“So then, Viola, what are you scheming this time?”
Viola frowned, she looked a bit offended.
“That was out of the blue.”
“You intentionally let Akira shoot you back then, didn’t you?”
Although Carol said that so casually, her tone was telling Viola that she was sure about it.
“I know you’re not that stupid, you knew well what would happen if you met him. You were the one who told me to go to your office with Sheryl, remember? Although you have many offices, that one has a hospital nearby and I know that you have an emergency kit and where to find it in that office. You intentionally said all of that in the first half of your negotiation with Akira, didn’t you? Had Akira aimed at your head back then, you would not have provoked him like that. You knew what I would do, that was why you let Akira shoot you. And by doing that, it would remove most of his grudge against you, right? Then with his grudge mostly gone, you can make an excuse to get involved in Sheryl’s gang saying that it would bring benefit for both Sheryl and Akira.”
Carol smiled rather ominously.
“In the first place, putting Akira and Sheryl aside, if you were planning to trick me too, you could have done something better than that, right? Or is it that you have dulled?”
Viola faked a surprise and smiled.
“You’re thinking too much. If you hadn’t saved me back then, I would have been dead by now.”
“I do think that you’re my friend, but let me tell you this, I don’t believe what you said there at all since I know you very well.”
Carol could easily tell that Viola was scheming something, but she could not tell what it was. Viola might actually be tricking her into thinking that she was scheming something. And if she tried to pursue her suspicion, she might find herself being manipulated by Viola without realizing it. After all, up until now, Carol had seen so many people fall for that trick up close.
Carol smiled smugly.
“Well, in the end, my potential customer did shoot you after you tried to mess with him, so I guess I’ll let that slide. Though I bet I would get shot because of that too.”
“I have no plans to do that though, but if you’re okay with that, then I won’t pursue this subject any further.”
Viola and Carol smiled at each other.
Someone suddenly knocked at the door. A few men came in without even waiting for a reply. Then the representative from that group showed his ID card and said.
“Viola Alhans, I presume? I’m Endou from Kugamayama city’s Long-term Strategy Department, Public Order Section. We have some questions regarding the huge battle yesterday.”
Endou’s men stood in front of the door as if to close Viola’s escape route. Seeing that, Viola sighed.
Carol then said to Endou.
“I have nothing to do with this though, so, can I leave?”
“Of course. In the first place, I would have asked you to leave since you’re not involved in this matter. Although it’s a simple investigation, the subject that we are going to discuss is not for the public’s ears.”
“I see, later then, Viola.”
“Oh my, that’s so cold of you.”
“You didn’t know?”
Viola said that as a joke, so Carol replied with a joke too. Carol left the room while lightly waved at Viola. Half of the men guarding the door also left the room together with Carol and guarded the door from outside.
Endou looked sharply at Viola and stood in front of her. Viola still had her usual calmness.
“So then, I just need to answer your questions, right?”
“That won’t be necessary, it was just an excuse to come here. Of course, I’ll forge a document for that too, but don’t worry, I’ll handle everything.”
“Then, why are you here?”
“I’m here to listen to your report.”
“There’s no need to come all the way here by yourself, you know? I can just send you the report later, right?”
“It’s an order from the guys in the upper echelon. Well, it’s no surprise since the battle was bigger than we expected and we heard that you got hospitalized soon after. Not to mention, we have also received a report saying that Drankam also went to check the place where that battle happened. So, we want to confirm the current situation as soon as possible.”
After he said all of that, Endou looked slightly exasperated as he said.
“But well, what can I say… To think that you can cause such a big battle just from a small rumour about a certain Hunter who got his wallet stolen by a pickpocket, you’re pretty good.”
Viola smiled smugly.
“That was nothing more than a trigger. A rather volatile boy, just like a landmine. So I would rather have you appreciate all the preparations that I’ve done to make sure that the fire would burn strongly.”
Kugamayama city usually did not bother much about the power distribution around the slum city which was next to its lower district. Even if a large battle occurred there and numerous people got killed, the City Management normally did not intervene at all.
But they could not ignore it if it had reached a certain scale. And that Ezont family and Haurias had grown too big and too strong for the City Management to ignore.
Both gangs had survived numerous conflicts, grew bigger, and attained enough money and military power to maintain the gang. To the point that their influence had even reached the commercial district in the lower district and had enough money to buy, arm, and even use powered suits. But it was all good up until that point. After all, rising high as an organization was a commendable thing even from the point of view of the Corporate Government that ruled the eastern district.
The problem was that their existence was disturbing the public order in the city. Their activities were against the law and they were doing illegal businesses. And with the rather barbaric people of the outer wall with powered suits living close to the inner wall, it was no surprise that it bothered the people from the inner wall. It would have been well and good if it increased the worth of living inside the inner wall, but unfortunately, they only lowered it. In the worst-case scenario, some people from the inner wall might even decide to move out because of them.
There were cases where such a strong organization worked together with the Nationalists. The Nationalists would then send that organization powerful augmented suits as well as sneak some of their agents in, and eventually enlist their help during a huge battle. Even if it did not go that far, buying powered suits from the Nationalists was enough to help the Nationalists to collect money. So their existence only caused worry for the people in the inner wall.
Once it reached that point, the City Management could not afford to just ignore them. Power-wise, the City Management could easily crush that kind of organization using the city’s defense squad, after all, that squad was prepared to even withstand a fight against ginormous monsters. An organization that just rose to power from the lower district was no match for that squad.
But the problem was the expense. Of course, dispatching the defense squad was no cheap thing. So if that kind of organization had become big enough trouble for the City Management to dispatch such a costly defense squad, they would look for the one who was responsible for not curbing it.
Because of that, the City Management was looking for a cheaper alternative, and that would be letting the gangs that were disturbing the public order in the city destroy each other. Of course, it would not come for free, but it was indeed cheaper than dispatching the defense squad.
So, Viola received that job from the City Management. Basically, it was outsourced to her.
Viola had manipulated various organizations and people to their own doom. Some of them were out of requests from the City Management. Such a track record earned her quite a reputation from the City Management’s point of view. Which in some cases, she was even feared for her skill.
Even the ruckus that happened recently between Ezont Family and Haurias was actually connected to the City Management, but there were only a handful of people in the City Management who knew that. So the people who sent that investigation request to Drankam were the City Management people who were unaware.
Of course, Endou was one of those who knew. But even he was listening to Viola’s report while feeling fear in his heart. After all, Viola had done some preposterous things to complete that request.
“…That aside, this might have nothing to do with this matter, but we lost 3 of our agents, do you know anything about them?”
“Is this a request to investigate from the City Management?”
“No, just a casual talk.”
“I see. Unlike in the inner wall, the lower district is a dangerous place. They might have done something stupid and got themselves involved in a fight or something.”
“Let’s see. Maybe like boasting their connection with the City Management and trying to get their hands on a woman who is not interested in them. That kind of connection might be enough to help them seduce someone, but it is nowhere near enough as a threat, you know? And it seems that many people don’t understand that well enough, so there’s a good chance they got involved in a fight because of some stupid reason. I can really understand why the City Management spends money to make sure that Hunters behave well, it’s an important thing after all, right?”
Viola smiled as if she was hiding something. Seeing which Endou was barely able to keep his calm.
Sheryl was sitting in her personal room with a serious face. The reason was the information from Viola whom she was talking with through her information terminal.
“…Is this information true?”
“It’s not like I’m going to tell you to trust me, but well, I do feel guilty for what I did to you, you know? I even let you hear about this before I tell Akira as a token of apology from me.”
They were talking through a call, so they could not see each other’s faces. But Sheryl was so sure that Viola was smiling right now, she could imagine Viola smiling with her usual gentle smile while scheming something behind it.
“Is this a threat to me?”
“Of course not, like I said, it’s an apology from me. Ah, by the way, if I have to add anything, Akira had already finished off Alna. That’s why, I’m sure that he won’t be that bothered even if you tell him that you know about it. Of course, that is if he doesn’t notice it on his own and misunderstands thinking that you’re intentionally trying to hide it from him.”
Sheryl shivered when she remembered back then when Akira was in a very bad mood. That day, Akira, who was in a horrible mood, said in front of Sheryl that he would kill that Alna. And now, if she did not handle this situation well, in the worst-case scenario, Akira might direct that killing intent to Sheryl’s gang.
Sheryl was trying her best to maintain her calm, suddenly Viola said with her usual calm voice.
“We’re just going to take the initiative here. I just thought that it would not sour Akira’s mood that much if you let him hear it from you. Of course, I won’t be forcing you to do it though. But, if you won’t do anything, I plan to tell Akira myself. After all, I need to give Akira some useful information as an apology to him too. You know that well too, right? So that’s it, later then.”
“What is it?”
“…I’ll do it. Thank you very much for sharing this information.”
Viola replied with a happy voice before closing the call. After that call ended, Sheryl was barely able to hold back herself from screaming out of anger.
Sheryl then called Nasha to one of the rooms in the base. When Nasha came in, Sheryl, Alicia, and Erio were already waiting for her inside the room.
Sheryl and the other two had a grave expression on their faces, the mood was rather heavy. Nasha could feel the heaviness of the mood as she slowly and sacredly came forward.
“Uhmm, Boss, I heard you have something you want to talk about with me.”
Sheryl looked at Nasha. She then said with an extremely stern face and firm voice.
“I’ll get straight to the point here, did you tell Alna about Akira?”
Nasha went pale, it was so obvious that there was no need for her to answer that question.
Sheryl and the other two made an even sterner expression when they saw her reaction. Their slight hope that it was a mistake was completely crushed. Nasha was a nice girl, she did all her job earnestly, and she got along well with the other members in the gang. Recently, she was even given the responsibility to supervise some of the other members. Sheryl, Erio, and Alicia trusted her, that was why it came as a big shock for all three of them.
“So that’s true, huh!! Come in!!”
With that signal from Erio, some of the other gang members came into the room. They immediately surrounded Nasha and froze. They were only told to come in and secure someone that might anger Akira, they did not know who that someone was. So no one expected that it would be Nasha.
Those children looked conflicted as they looked in Sheryl’s direction. They could feel the heavy air coming from her, so they started securing Nasha although they still had a pained look on their faces. Nasha did not fight back at all.
Nasha just stood there with her head down, both of her arms were grabbed by the other children to make sure that she won’t be able to do anything. Looking at that, Alicia worriedly said to Sheryl.
“…Sheryl, so… What do you plan to do with her?”
Sheryl could understand Alicia’s wish to help Nasha if it was possible. But if she tried to cover for her, it might put her and her gang in danger.
Nasha used the money that Alna stole from Akira to join Sheryl’s gang. She then helped Alna to run away even after Akira made such a frightening expression. At that point, Sheryl could no longer protect Nasha.
Moreover, Sheryl also had come to know that Akira only stayed behind after leaving her to Carol in order to kill that Alna. He wanted to kill Alna so bad that he would jump into a battlefield that was filled with tanks and powered suits. She could not tell how far his killing intent would go, whether it would include people who helped Alna get away, or if it would even include those people who were not able to prevent that, or if it would include people that he thought protected anyone involved in that matter. When Sheryl thought about that, there was no way she could protect Nasha.
Sheryl did not say anything as she took out her information terminal, she paused for a bit to get herself ready before initiating a call to Akira.
“It’s Sheryl. I have something to talk about, is this a good time?”
The mood inside the room tensed up. Everyone was looking in Sheryl’s direction. Sheryl was apologizing while trying to explain what was going on to Akira. When she did that, Akira did not say anything back. He did not say anything that sounded as if he was surprised or angry. Not even a slight reply to let Sheryl know that he was listening. He was just silent. It was even dubious if he was properly listening or not.
Sheryl could not bring herself to ask Akira if he was listening. She could not tell if Akira was trying to calm himself down, or if he was too angry to say anything back, she could only pray that it was not because Akira had abandoned the gang as she kept on talking. After she explained everything, Akira then said.
“…I see. Alright, I’ll head there now.”
“I understand, we’ll be waiting.”
Akira ended the call there. Sheryl sighed in relief. Alicia then worriedly asked Sheryl a question.
“…How was it?”
“…Akira is coming.”
Sheryl only said that. Alicia wanted to ask if there was a chance to save Nasha, but after seeing Sheryl’s reaction, she decided not to.
Not too long after that, Akira came into the room. All the other children that surrounded Nasha stepped back all the way to the wall so as not to get involved in Akira’s fury.
Nasha had completely given up hope. She was scared, but not to the point that she was shaken up. She had resolved herself knowing that something like this might happen the moment she joined Sheryl’s gang.
[I’m sorry, Alna. It seems that this is the end for me, I hope that you at least can live well.]
Nasha smiled lonely at the thought of Alna.
Akira stood in front of Nasha.
“So this one is Nasha, right? Let her go.”
The guys who were holding both of Nasha’s arms released her and stepped away just like the other children.
Akira only said that and headed to the door. Nasha did not follow him, she only stood there with a bewildered face, she thought that he would kill her there. So Akira turned around and said.
“I don’t mind dragging you out though if you prefer that.”
Nasha still had a bewildered look, but she started following behind him. Akira then left the room with her.
Sheryl and the other children could only see them leave without doing or saying anything. They were only standing there, looking slightly confused since Akira left without blaming anyone at all.
Inside the Drankam base, Mizuha was yelling in anger. The reason was the person that she was on a call with.
“Viola, it’s pretty bold of you to call me after what you did.”
Mizuha anger was obvious from her voice, but in contrast to that, Viola replied back calmly and casually.
“Oh my, you didn’t find my service satisfying? I did finish your request almost perfectly, you know? Alna is dead, not because she simply vanished, but because she was killed and there was a corpse to prove it. So, there is no doubt that she’s dead for good. And since the reason for her death is because she got swallowed in the battle between Haurias and Ezont family, no one would expect that it had anything to do with you. So what is it that you don’t like about?”
Mizuha was really annoyed at how Viola was playing innocent there, she was trying to be careful not to raise her voice too high.
“Don’t kid with me. I didn’t say anything about telling Katsuya about that and sending him into that battlefield, what the heck were you thinking? What were you going to do if he got killed there? Are you planning to make an enemy out of me?!”
“Ohh, about that, huh? I have nothing to do with that matter, you know. It’s not a part of my job after all.”
“Do you really think that I believe you?”
“Well, I won’t tell you to believe me. But it’s the truth. Moreover, whether it’s a person or an organization, anyone who antagonizes me, they all end up dead, you know. After all, it would be a hassle to deal with them if they ever come for revenge later. So like, do you want to get killed or the whole Drankam gang destroyed by tomorrow or something?”
“Thought so. Moreover, if you didn’t want Katsuya to get involved, you could have sent him for a Hunter job somewhere far away for some time, no? You should have known that something would happen the moment you put that request for me, that’s why I didn’t warn you at all, and you would still blame that on me? Well, though I’m sure it’s not that simple with Drankam involved though.”
Mizuha twitched, she did not have anything to counter that argument. If she said that it was Viola’s fault, then in turn it would mean that it was Mizuha’s own mistake for not being able to predict that. Since she did not want to admit it, she came up with another excuse.
“…Katsuya is already assigned to another job in Kuzusuhara ruin front-line temporary base. And Kugamayama city thinks highly of him. That’s why I can’t just suddenly assign him to another job.”
“Is that so? But that’s your problem, right? So, even if you tell me so, it’s not like I can do anything about it, right?”
After a short pause, both of them were trying to probe what the other person was thinking. After that, Viola sounded as if she had given up and decided to step back.
“Well, putting that aside. Since you’re not happy with my work, I don’t feel like taking my reward just like this too. So, it’s okay if I transfer it back, right? But with one condition.”
“One condition? What is it?”
“Tell me how Katsuya discovered Alna’s location that day, I’ll give my reward back to you as a payment for that info. I might even give you some bonus too depending on how much details you can give me.”
Mizuha was a bit surprised by that request.
“…What are you scheming this time? It was you who told him, right?”
“As I said, it wasn’t me. I don’t know who or what organization did that, but the one that I sent there as the trigger for that battle was only Akira. Akira was the only one that I told about Alna’s whereabouts. I didn’t say anything to Katsuya or anyone around him that might let him know. But even so, Katsuya did go there and made a mess of my plan. Because of that, I ended up in hospital after Akira shot me. I’m still in the hospital even right now, you know?”
“I would be really happy if you come to visit me though.”
Viola was telling Mizuha to come and check it for herself if she was suspicious of Viola lying. And with that, most of her suspicion about Viola letting Katsuya know about Alna’s location had also vanished.
Viola then added.
“If everything went as I planned, I wouldn’t be in the hospital right now. That’s why I want to know the reason why someone would want to mess up my plan by telling Katsuya where Alna was. Of course, I’m planning to investigate it further myself. But it’s easier for you to investigate within Drankam, right? And even if I’m planning to ask Katsuya myself, it would be easier if you’re the one to do that for me, right?”
Viola sounded as if she had a grudge against whoever told Katsuya about Alna, Mizuha’s suspicion reduced even further.
“…So, it really wasn’t you?”
“Yeah, I didn’t tell Katsuya anything. I have my reputation to be held as an information broker, you know. I won’t do something as stupid as leaking the information after a contract like that. My information is always correct, that’s why people keep buying information from me even after they know the bad rumours about me. You do know that well yourself, no?
Mizuha took some time to think. Even if Viola might put in some of her personal opinions in her information, she would never leak any information and the information itself would always be correct.
It was as if she was standing at an intersection and there was a trap if she went to the right. She was properly told so by Viola, so if she went to the right without trusting Viola, she might as well get hurt. But if she trusted Viola and went left, she might find a worse trap and get hurt even worse than if she had gone right. But if she believed someone else, went to the right and avoided the worse trap on the left, it felt like Viola then would happily take whatever treasure that she could find on the left.
Viola’s bad habit was how she manipulated people with correct information, Mizuha herself knew that very well. Which meant that she must be telling the truth when she said that she did not tell Katsuya anything about Alna, or at least, that was what Mizuha thought.
“Very well. Either way, Drankam will do our own investigation too. We’ll send a copy of the report to you too, is that good enough?”
“We have a deal then, thanks. By the way, I already returned back the reward that I received, so you can go ahead and check it. I’ll transfer more if you can give me good info. That’s it then, bye-bye.”
Viola closed the call. Mizuha checked her bank account and confirmed that she got back the money she had given to Viola. It was as if Viola knew that Mizuha would accept her condition. Mizuha felt slight displeasure after realizing that Viola had completely read her, but she immediately moved on to something else.
[If it was not Viola, then who told Katsuya about Alna?] Mizuha could feel slight anger for whoever was it who sent Katsuya to that dangerous battlefield as she immediately planned her investigation.